Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1219: Location by Kruger

Posted by kenmac on March 14th, 2012


The preamble tells us that there are misprints in the definitions in some clues but doesn’t tell us how many. The corrected letters give a cryptic link to a location.

Once the grid’s complete we’ll find eighteen cells to highlight, which form seven blocks of horizontal cells. These blocks provide “geographical context.”

In addition there are two groups of nine cells, symmetrically placed that will identify a couple of “local inhabitants.”

Finally the centre cell described as “inaccessible” has to be “appropriately shaded.”

All seems fairly straightforward except, perhaps, for the last bit.

The misprints (there are thirteen) give us FEATHERS BELOW, which, cryptically, gives us DOWN UNDER meaning Australia.

At this point I didn’t really know what eighteen cells to highlight until I copied the grid to Excel to do this blog and I found myself keying NSW (k8) at which point the penny dropped. The official abbreviations of the six states and one territory of Australia. They are, in alphabetic order: NSW (k8:New South Wales), NT(g3:Northern Territory), QLD (j3:Queensland), SA (g10:South Australia), TAS (j13:Tasmania), VIC (i11:Victoria) and WA (a7:Western Australia.) These are placed roughly in their correct locations geographically.

Incidentally, I also spotted ACT (d1:Australian Capital Territory) and I wonder why it was ignored!

Now on to the two symmetrically placed groups of letters, these are: ABORIGINE (c5-d6-e6-f6-g5-h6-i6-j6-k5) and MARSUPIAL (c9-d8-e8-f8-g9-h8-i8-j8-k9.) Given that these words brush the centre
cell, I thought for a long time that they were going to share that cell until I noticed the I and U in their own right.

This left the final piece of the puzzle. I believe that, since the centre of Australia is mostly desert, we have to choose a colour to represent the desert, the desert being “inaccessible.” I’ve never been to Australia so I don’t know what colour the desert is but I assume it’s roughly the colour of Uluru which I’ve seen photographs of so I’m going with a dark orangey-reddy-brown colour. I can’t see any significance in the shapes of the two hidden words.

Since writing the above, I’ve discovered that the desert in the middle of Australia is known as The Red Centre, so all cleared up now and I’ve changed the colour of the centre cell..

Thanks Kruger.

No. Clue Corrected letter Entry Wordplay
3 They measure purity of milk and close tops tightly before food is consumed   LACTOSCOPES AC (before food) inside CLOSE TOPS (anag: tightly)
12 Loose relative’s no adult   UNTIE [a]UNTIE (relative without A(dult))
13 Virginia’s laughing in another dorm (DORM->FORM) F VARIANT VA (Virginia)+RIANT (laughing)
14 Upset new prison officer pulled out again   REDRAWN N+WARDER (prison officer) (rev: upset)
16 Mineral aggregate left inside border   ORLE L(eft) inside ORE (mineral aggregate)
18 Former pop group has malaria? He talks rot!   BLAGUEUR AGUE (malaria) inside BLUR (former pop group)
19 Marina in south-eastern Australia (MARINA->MARINE) E SEA S(outh)+E(astern)+A(ustralia)
20 Fill in drainage (FILL->FALL) A RAIN [d]RAIN[age] (hidden: in)
22 Visionary in high-rise accommodation   AERY (double definition)
24 We hear pig is weary   BORE BOAR (homonym: we hear)
25 Legal backing saves hotel in alley in York   GINNEL INN (hotel) inside LEG(al) (rev: backing)
27 No longer carry on hostilities with Arabian torpedo   WARRAY W(ith)+AR(abian)+RAY (torpedo)
28 Scout from days gone by not once about to become exhausted (SCOUT->STOUT) T ENTIRE NE (not) (obsolete: once) (rev: about)+TIRE (become exhausted)
30 Noisily modifies ledges in walls   ALTARS ALTERS (modifies) (homonym: noisily)
32 Volcanic rock engulfs half of pier in Oceanian capital   APIA PI[er] (half of) inside AA (volcanic rock)
34 Female starts to eschew male suitors for gay partners   FEMS F(emale)+E[schew]+M[ale]+S[uitors]
35 Hush up words of disbelief   HUHS HUSH (anag: up)
37 Wreath is ready for Moldovan   LEI (double def) (ready=currency)
38 Ask Sarah about evil spirit   RAKSHASA ASK SARAH (anag: about)
42 Husband confronts agent over farms (FARMS->HARMS) H HYPS H(usband)+SPY (rev: over)
44 Removes faults from designs?   DEVICES DE-VICES (removes faults)
45 Appointed sacked liberal to replace Jack   EJECTED E[l]ECTED J(ack) replaces sacked L(iberal)
46 In gambling game, someone despicable must (MUST->MUSE) E ERATO RAT (despicable person) inside EO (gambling game)
47 Suit already decided by card that’s just played before ace   RES JUDICATA CARD+IE (that’s)+JUST (anag: played)
No. Clue Corrected letter Entry Wordplay
1 Director in UK was a riot – oddly eccentric   KUROSAWA UK+WAS+A+R[i]O[t] (oddly) (anag: eccentric)
2 Expect ruler to follow on (EXPECT->EXPERT) R ONER ON+ER (ruler: Queen Elizabeth)
4 Broadcast’s cleared up (original frequency abandoned)   AIRED [f]AIRED (cleared up) minus F[requency]
5 Pay no more to William when case is thrown out (PAY->SAY) S CEAS CASE {anag: thrown out)
6 It’s used to pull women in mostly very good pub   TOW BAR W(omen) inside TO[o] (mostly very good)+BAR (pub)
7 Oriental grass is brown in depression (GRASS->BRASS) B SATANG TAN (brown) inside SAG (depression)
8 Cliff’s an unhealthy person without any sun   CRAG [s]CRAG (without S(un))
9 Broad stripe has no colour   PALE (double definition)
10 They remain firm when enduser becomes awkward and embraces rule of law   ENDURERS R (rule of law) inside ENDUSER (anag: becomes awkward)
11 Southern politician is tall (TALL->TALE) E STORY S(outhern)+TORY
15 Airline mostly carries uranium in minimal amounts   QUANTA U(ranium) inside QANTA[s] (airline)
17 Non-British former PM in retreat   LAIR [b]LAIR (Tony Blair) minus B(ritish)
20 Reportedly, Irish boy is noisy in Stranraer   ROARY RORY (homonym: reportedly)
21 The end of surface treatment that’s not hard   FINIS FINIS[h] (surface treatment) minus H(ard)
23 In good demand, dark beer is quaffed   SALEABLE ALE (beer) inside SABLE (dark)
24 Chub and wrasse (topped and tailed) kept in barrel? Yes, originally (CHUB->CLUB) L BRASSY [w]RASS[e] (topped and tailed) inside B[arrel]+Y[es] (originally)
26 TV cop succeeded to lift stone with this   LEWISSON LEWIS (TV cop)+S(ucceeded)+ON (to)
29 I just love going astray, thoroughly   INLY I+[o]NLY O (love) going astray
31 Farmed acreage then last of crop stored in open-fronted shelter (FARMED->FORMED) O SHAPED A(creage)+[cro]P inside SHED
33 Dark-coloured peach is tampered with – iodine injected   PHAEIC I(odine) inside PEACH (anag: is tampered with)
34 Previously crumble dry leaves in cooking pan   FRIER FRI[tt]ER minus TT=teetotal=dry
36 Almost avoid working on front of tailored garment   SHIRT SHIR[k] (avoid working) (almost)+T[ailored]
39 Harry takes time out for some days in Scotland (DAYS->DAWS) W KAES [t]AKES (T(ime) out) (anag: harry)
40 Crudely built house – acceptable for Rwandan?   HUTU HUT (crudely built house)+U(niversal)
41 Surgeon’s second to see each part of the eye   UVEA [s]U[rgeon] (second letter)+V (see)+EA(ch)
43 Showers not likely at first? Cats and dogs? Maybe   PETS PE[l]TS (showers) minus L[ikely]

4 Responses to “Inquisitor 1219: Location by Kruger”

  1. Hi of hihoba says:

    Thanks to Kruger and to kenmac for the blog. Our experience almost exactly mirrors yours kenmac. We too found ACT and decided to ignore it on positional grounds – it is geographically misplaced in the diagram. I filled in the middle square with red on reading that Ayers Rock (Uluru) takes its colour from the red sand blown on to it from the Red Desert. I wondered for a while whether there was any significance in the letters AYE surrounding the central square, but couldn’t find any.

  2. HolyGhost says:

    Similar for me too. Having got DOWN UNDER, I quickly decided that this referred to New Zealand, the central cell being All Black; this diverted me for some time, until I reverted to Australia, confirmed by spotting NSW and VIC in appropriate positions. Those, plus QLD, WA and TAS were unambiguous (and I shaded the central cell in red, because of Uluru, not being aware of the Red Centre); but there were two possibilities for NT (also at Ken’s b2) and SA (also at f8). MARSUPIAL ruled out the latter possibility for SA, as that would mean the S was doing double duty … and I plumped for the consensual location of NT (at g10) as more geographically accurate.

    Stretching John H’s easy-to-hard ranking from 1-3 (see his comment on Ifor’s recent puzzle) to a less coarse 1-5, I’d grade this a 3, owing to the endgame.

  3. regalize says:

    Thanks kenmac for the blog and Kruger for a very satisfying puzzle in an increasingly addictive Inquisitor series. Like HolyGhost, I could see more than one possibility with SA as that location is geographically almost parallel with NSW and both being north of VIC and I do believe I plumped for the wrong one! Never mind, all good fun (as crosswords generally are supposed to be).

  4. Kruger says:

    My thanks to Kenmac for his excellent blog.

    Not too difficult a puzzle, I think, but perhaps some welcome relief to solvers after a few pretty tough ones lately.

    I actually thought of this theme while touring Australia in October 2010. This was after their wettest winter for over a generation and the vegetation of the “Red Centre” which had lain dormant for years had suddenly burst into life turning the whole place green! Not good for tourists, but great for the locals.

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